How small solid state HD could the PS3 have?

Discussion in 'Console Industry' started by Crossbar, Jun 5, 2007.

  1. Crossbar

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Messages:
    1,821
    Likes Received:
    12
    I've been thinking about the possible ways for Sony to cost reduce the PS3 and produce a stripped down version to become more price competetive.

    The hard drive is one obvious obstacle to cut costs. There have been speculations that it will eventually be replaced with solid state flash memory some where down road when the flash memory has become cheap. Those speculations have assumed that the required minimum size of the SS HD would be 20 GB, the same as in the original "tard" version.

    But does it really need to be 20 GB? What are the minimum requirements to a have a fully working PS3. How much of the HD is reserved for the OS, how much is reserved for a game cache, how much is reserved for saved game data etc., what minimum space would be needed to download a full copy of Warhawk?

    If we assume that Sony would want to make a low priced entry model similar to the 20 GB model that later could be upgraded by buying a 2.5 HD, how small could they make a SS HD on the PCB and still claim it´s a fully working PS3?

    I haven´t found some recent updates of the PS3 bill of material, but for the 360 Elite, iSupply assumed the 120 GB HD would cost $43. By studying the price difference of 2.5 HDs I estimate 20,60,80 GB HDs may cost about $5 less to buy from the manufacturer.

    If we study the current flash contract memory prices found here, we find that 8Gb 1024Mx8 MLC NAND chips can found for $6.7, that is $6.7 / GB.

    If we speculate that it would be possible to make a fully working PS3 with a 6 GB SS HD the price ($40.2) would be comparable to the price of the current HD. That obviously makes it pretty bad value for the money, but given the current price trend for NAND it may soon be a viable alternative, maybe the price/GB will go below $5 late fall.

    (link )

    If 6 GB isn't sufficient it will take longer time, maybe 8 GB or 10 GB is required or maybe the full 20 GB is indeed required for some compatibility reason. Any thoughts about what the actual minimum size required could be?
     
  2. DieH@rd

    Legend Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2006
    Messages:
    6,122
    Likes Received:
    2,050
    PS3 version of Oblivion installs 4.4Gb of gamedata... Thats the biggest install I have ever seen on ps3.
     
  3. Crossbar

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Messages:
    1,821
    Likes Received:
    12
    That sounds like a lot (I assume you mean 4.4 GB). Is that an optional installation to speed up start-up times or is it really required?
    I mean if every game would require that, you could only install about 3 games on the 20 GB version.
     
  4. Rangers

    Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2006
    Messages:
    12,322
    Likes Received:
    1,120
    Yeah but the 20GB 360 only ends up with like 13GB free.

    20GB=18.6GB in reality (due to that HDD size thing). Then you have a lot of system stuff preloaded.

    Anyways, PS3 is using 50 GB Blu_Ray discs (25GB currently), so if we're told all that storage is needed, it seems a lot of HDD space is needed for installs also. If not, you're back to loading frequently.

    I dont think 6GB is enough. It also leaves no room for downloading content. Would basically be PS3 tard pack.

    I'd say minimum is 20GB. 40GB really, for my purposes (as I really dont like the 20GB on 360, it just feels too cramped).

    Anyways, I dont like built in HDD in consoles. They are not worth it and are a cost center, and also make the machines very big (PS3, Xbox 1).

    I also dont know if it's possible, but using 3.5" HDD's might have been nice if it could have been done form factor wise. You could get much larger capacity for similar price. However, laptop HDD prices are probably falling rapidly anyway, making it soon moot (but I could be wrong).
     
  5. Mmmkay

    Regular

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2005
    Messages:
    627
    Likes Received:
    31
    It's not optional. The game disc even spins down and doesn't get used once you start playing.
     
  6. Cheezdoodles

    Veteran

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    Messages:
    3,930
    Likes Received:
    24
    Hows the performance on those flash sticks compared to a HDD?
     
  7. Crossbar

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Messages:
    1,821
    Likes Received:
    12
    The actual performance depends on how you choose to organise your flash chips and the read/write characteristics of those chips, but here is a comparision where they have an implementation of a flash drive with a SATA interface.
    An implementation on the mainboard would certainly have better numbers than those. The most obvious benefit of the flash memory is that the search times are eliminated.
     
  8. Crossbar

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Messages:
    1,821
    Likes Received:
    12
    Yeah, I was thinking in terms of a low entry tard pack, but of course it must be able to install any PS3 game.

    If there indeed are games requiring a minimum of 4.4 GB space to play (Oblivion) that sets the size requirement quite high. Maybe 10 GB would fit the bill, that would mean we will not see a solid state HD equiped tard-pack this year, maybe late next year.
     
  9. inefficient

    Veteran

    Joined:
    May 5, 2004
    Messages:
    2,121
    Likes Received:
    53
    Location:
    Tokyo

    You do realize that the Xbox1 used PC desktop standard sized 3.5" HDD right? And that the PS3 and 360 don't?

    2.5" drives are very tiny and add very little to the overall size of the console. They are very thin too. Only about 5mm thick.

    Here is a photo I just took of the PS3's HD. Next to it is a Microdrive HDD from an Ipod mini (back from when they still had HDDs). And then some coins for size comparison.

    [​IMG]

    Anyway people have to get out of their heads that mass storage systems make consoles big and expensive. It's 2007 for christ's sakes. It's a totally different world from the one the XBox1 was launched in. Those parallels are not going to be relevant this gen.
     
  10. archangelmorph

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2006
    Messages:
    1,551
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    London
    It's actually worse than that..

    When I first opened my Xbox360 I checked the available storage capacity and it sat somwhere around 8GB.. 8 F***ing GB available from a 20GB HDD!!!

    Eventually I checked what was on there and found the HDD came pre-loaded with a load of HD videos of... well... crap.. So I deleted it all and it gave me back a few GBs..

    Still I haven't seen the available storage go any higher than 10.3GBs to date.. :sad:
     
  11. Crossbar

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Messages:
    1,821
    Likes Received:
    12
    I partially agree, but I think the current situation has proven that price is king.

    The customers representing the mass market do not think in terms of life cycle costs, they don´t care if they later down the road have to invest in a larger hard drive or if they after a year have to pay a subscription fee to be able to have full access to online play, their main focus is the sum printed on the price tag of the console.

    If Sony later on may be able to shave off an extra $20 by using a flash drive, that may help them reach a lower price point to better compete with the 360's tard pack and the Wii.
     
  12. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
    Moderator Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2004
    Messages:
    40,743
    Likes Received:
    11,225
    Location:
    Under my bridge
     
  13. Todd33

    Veteran Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Messages:
    1,066
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    CA
    The PS3 is big because of the built in PSU, not really the tiny 2.5" HD. I prefer this over the large unwieldy external 360 brick.
     
  14. DieH@rd

    Legend Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2006
    Messages:
    6,122
    Likes Received:
    2,050
    Yes I meant to say GB.

    Can someone tell me witch game offers custom/optional installation? So far every game i encountered has fixed "non negotiable" instalation. :)
     
  15. tongue_of_colicab

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Messages:
    3,448
    Likes Received:
    656
    Location:
    Japan
    I dont think the HDD will do much for the decrease in costs. How much would it cost to make a 20gb disk? not alot I think. You have 500gb disks selling for under 100 euro's, So what will a 20gb disk cost? 30euro's? Not even close I think as its a very small disk based on old tech. But even if it was, they could what half that with solid state memory? thats still only 15 euro's. Ofcourse that becomes alot if you start talking millions of ps3's but it wont do that much in terms of reducing costs.

    Ofcourse all numbers are pulled out of my ass and I have no idea how close/far off I am.
     
  16. infinity4

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2006
    Messages:
    1,235
    Likes Received:
    5
    are we talking about HDD costs or ways of reducing ps3 price by removal of features like HDMI output???
     
  17. Gradthrawn

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2006
    Messages:
    2,265
    Likes Received:
    84
    Location:
    Michigan
    Genji, RR, and VF5 (though it seems to prompt you every time you start the game).
     
  18. Zassk

    Regular

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2005
    Messages:
    459
    Likes Received:
    1
    The biggest cost savings would have come from making the hard disk totally optional, as in the 360. Then only a nominal amount of "memory card" storage would be required for normal usage (which could be embedded as the Wii has done). Unfortunately PS3 has already crossed this bridge and will probably always need a storage disk.

    A console doesn't need the speed of NAND flash memory, it just needs low cost. Why not use one of the little 1-inch and 1.5-inch hard drives that used to be all the rage in MP3 players, such as the Hitachi one seen in inefficient's picture? Those must be reasonably priced today when purchased in quantity.

    A 4-6 GB micro disk would be more than enough to download demos, patches and arcade games, and hold a ton of game saves. And it would fit into a "slimline" console case nicely.
     
  19. tongue_of_colicab

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Messages:
    3,448
    Likes Received:
    656
    Location:
    Japan
    Arnt those small hdd's actually more expensive to produce because of their size? A standard size 20gb disk would probably be cheaper.
     
  20. "Nerve-Damage"

    Regular

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    Messages:
    809
    Likes Received:
    14
    Little off topic...

    I just wonder how much cooler, smaller, and the added breathing room (clocking speed) the RSX core/memory would receive, if the PSU wasn’t built into the PS3.
     
    #20 "Nerve-Damage", Jun 5, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 5, 2007
Loading...

Share This Page

  • About Us

    Beyond3D has been around for over a decade and prides itself on being the best place on the web for in-depth, technically-driven discussion and analysis of 3D graphics hardware. If you love pixels and transistors, you've come to the right place!

    Beyond3D is proudly published by GPU Tools Ltd.
Loading...